Tips to Grow With Instagram Reels in 2024

social strategy Feb 03, 2024

One of my goals for this year is to prioritize growth on Instagram. To be totally honest with you, I pumped the breaks on this platform the past couple of years with the introduction of TikTok. Why? Because I was getting bored of looking at the same old photos. But if 2023 proved anything on Instagram, it's that they are now taking video SUPER seriously in order to stay in the game. 

So I've done some research and here's a few tactics I plan on using in 2024 to optimize my own content - hopefully you find them useful too!

 

Tips to 'Rock your Reels' in 2024!  

 

1. Prioritize 'Talking to Camera' Style Content:

As we all know, Instagram started out as a 'photo focused' platform. With the rise of their biggest competitor TikTok, Instagram has had to pivot their strategy and shift their algorithm to start prioritizing video. BUT, because the DNA of the platform was built around 'aesthetic' content (ie. pretty photos) you may have noticed that the majority of users are still creating their videos with this mentality.

I personally think this style of content is headed out the door. People's bar for what they consider 'entertaining' content has gotten significantly higher. Videos with a pretty broll shot, a cute song, and some text overtop, eventually just aren't going to cut it anymore. As humans, we crave connection. Viewers want to see the faces and personalities behind the accounts they follow. THEY WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED! SO, if you want your content to stand out, I suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and to start sharing content where you are speaking directly to camera. This can be in the form of storytelling, skits, challenges, etc. (Just don't forget to include a killer hook in the first 3-5 seconds!) As the desire to be entertained continues to grow at a significant pace, I think this style of content is going to take over Instagram by the end of 2024. 

 

2. Optimize Your SEO

If you are unfamiliar with SEO, it is basically the practice of optimizing your content to be discovered in search results on the platform (ie. the search bar, hashtags, explore feeds). For example, when someone uses the Instagram search box to look up words related to your niche, you want your Reels to appear near the top of the list. 

So, how do you optimize your Reels' SEO? I feel like I could write an entire email to you on this subject (if SEO for social interests you, respond to this email with "I Want More!!") but here's the basics to help get you started.

  • Use Keywords in your Reel Captions: Think about what search terms people use to look for content like yours, then incorporate a few of those words or phrases into your video's caption. Example: If your reel is about '5 exercises for bigger biceps', try finding a creative way to work words like fitness, workout or weight lifting into your caption.
  • Add 'Closed Captions' or Subtitles to Your Reels: If you are talking to camera in your video (which hopefully I have convinced you to do above) make sure you are adding in captions or subtitles. The keywords generated in these captions are going to help Instagram categorize your content and serve it to the explore page of the right people.
  • Add Text to Your Video (when necessary):
    If you are including a text hook at the beginning of your Reel (which we cover in our TikTok and Reels Creator Course) or a CTA at the end, make sure to work in a couple relevant keywords if you can.
  • Use SEO-driven Hashtags: First off, if you aren't using hashtags on every single Reel you post, it's time to jump on it immediately! This is such a crucial tactic as to how viewers are going to organically discover your content. Add 6-10 hashtags at the end of your captions, steering away from generic ones like #video. Make them as relevant to your niche and what is happening in the Reel. PSA: It no longer works to 'hide' your hashtags in the comments. Hashtags need to be placed directly in the caption to register with search results. 

 

*Hashtag Hack: If you aren't sure what hashtags to include, go to your Instagram search bar, type a keyword, then tap Tags to see the top hashtags for that keyword. Then select the most relevant ones to your video and add it to the end of your Reel caption.

 


3. Ditching the 'Ideal Post Time' Mentality:

'When is the best time to post my content?' is a question we get A LOT. Should I try 6-9am? 10-2pm? Wednesdays? Friday nights? 😵‍💫 This is something people tend to obsess over but I do truly believe it doesn't really matter. If the content is great content, it will perform well no matter when you post! But if I were to share some advice, it would be to post anytime during 'wake hours'. You do want to get as much engagement as possible off the bat to work your way up the algorithm, so posting at 2am when the world is sleeping might not be your best bet. But at the end of the day, focus more on the quality of your content than obsession over when you are going to hit post.

 

4. Follow the Daily '5-5-5' Rule:

While you are waiting for the comments to flood in on your Reels, it can be so easy to forget that you also need to be engaging on the platform too! How you interact on the platform not only trains the algorithm with what kind of content to serve you but also what similar accounts it should serve your content too. Make it a habit to work the 5-5-5 into your daily engagement time:

  • Follow 5 new accounts in your niche
  • Save 5 Reels you love in your niche
  • Comment 5 genuine responses on other Reels in your niche

 

This informs the algorithm that you are an active user and is going to help increase your visibility on the platform. (You might see some cool connections/opportunities come from this practice too)!

These are the 4 tips I'm keeping top of mind heading into 2024, but don't worry, I'll be sharing others as I continue on my journey!  

Can't wait to see where this year takes you!! 

 

- Meg

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